The Roseanne revival on ABC proved to be a popular hit, despite Roseanne Barr's outspoken political beliefs - can it continue without her? In record time, Roseanne became ABC's most popular comedy show outside of The Big Bang Theory, and a second season of the revival had already been ordered. That came to an abrupt end yesterday with a racist tweet from Barr, prompting a huge backlash against the actress, followed by the swift cancellation of Roseanne by ABC.
While it was undoubtedly the right response to such an abhorrent remark, hundreds of innocent staff who worked on the show now find themselves out of work, and ABC is without its popular prime-time sitcom. It would be hard for anyone to watch Barr on screen right now, but it is sad to have to say an abrupt goodbye to a show which many had taken to their hearts. Could there be some way for it to return? While Roseanne as we know it (likely including its title) is over and done, the essence of the show could possibly continue.
One possibility would be to recast the role of Roseanne and continue with the show in its current format. After all, it's happened on Roseanne before when another actress took over the role of Becky. Of course, the role of Roseanne is iconic, and everyone associated Barr with it; she created it, after all, and served as executive producer and writer on the show.
If recasting is out, then the character must go - but would killing off Roseanne make sense? In many ways, yes, it would; viewers would be well aware of why it was happening, and an off-screen death would allow Roseanne to continue in its current format until it came to a natural endpoint. For fans of the Conner family, in particular Dan (John Goodman) and Jackie Harris (Laurie Metcalf), it would give way to more storylines focused on them. It would also be interesting to see how the Conner family adjusted to life without their matriarch; how Dan would cope alone, for example. The only trouble with that idea is that there would have to be on-screen acknowledgment of the character's death and seeing the family grieve for Roseanne would not sit well with many. Not to mention the fact that the show is called Roseanne; kind of difficult to continue with that when the titular character no longer appears.
So what, then, could be a possible solution aside from never seeing or hearing anything from the Conner family again? A spin-off would be a good option: a show following Jackie or Dan specifically would allow for all of the cast to remain and (presumably) all of the crew, too. Goodman and/or Metcalf are certainly more than capable of holding their own as lead, and that way, audiences can continue to keep up with their lives, everyone remains in employment except Barr, and ABC can still fill its time slot.
Only... when all is said and done, in spite of Barr's views, people watched Roseanne for a reason, and that reason was Barr. Without her, it seems as though Roseanne, in whatever capacity, just cannot continue.